Day 100 of practice. Woohoo! *throws confetti* (^^^^ Look, it's me with Mira Betz!)
Doesn't the title of this blog post make it sound like some sort of children's novel? But no, this is the story of how Mira Betz and Plaza de Anaya and my wonderful Tempe dance friends made days 99 and 100 of my daily dance goal really awesome!
First of all, I want to say that Kimberly of Plaza de Anaya is one of the best people in the world. She's so sweet, and she works so hard to not just provide dancers in the Valley and beyond with a great place to dance, but to bring us the best workshop teachers. So I want to publicly thank her for all that she does to make my dance life, and that of so many of my friends, so much better! Luv ya, Kim!
And my friends and classmates bring a lot to my dance and social life, too! Usually when I go up for workshops, I stay at Casa de Meghan, but this weekend Meghan had a lot going on, so Rosie and Nahks offered to let me crash with them, just hours before I was due in town. Not only did they give me a place to sleep, they even cooked me a super-yummy lunch before I headed home, and talked nerdy with me! I love that I've found people who love dance AND gaming AND SF/F novels as much as I do! Also, I need to mention that Rosie and Meghan performed beautifully at Saturday night's show, a wonderfully choreographed dark, dramatic, feathery fusion number that made me so proud of them! And I helped -- in the tiniest way, by stitching down some lace on Meghan's bustle. LOL.
But now, MIRA BETZ!!!! Wow. I have taken a decent amount of workshops in the slightly-less-than-two-years that I've been formally taking belly dance classes. Usually I learn some things, take away a few good tidbits, but whatever combos and choreos we learn get forgotten, because I take insufficient notes and have no one to practice with. I was really excited when I saw that Mira's workshops were going to be all technique instead of specific moves, because that's really what I want more of, ways to refine the moves I know and develop more of my own. I knew this weekend was going to be good, and a lot of fun, but I had no idea that it would be amazing.
Seriously, every time I take a workshop with a dancer that I really admire, I jokingly think to myself "Maybe some of her talent will rub off on me!" This is the first time that I've felt like it actually might. Well, not so much HER talent, but she gave all of us the tools to hone our own talent, to each be the best dancer we can, whether we dance Egyptian or American Cabaret or ITS or Gothic Tribal Fusion. She imparted so much wisdom and advice that I literally feel like this weekend changed my life -- it's shown me the path to be the dancer that I want to be, how to get myself out of the rut of ho-hum daily practice and work hard to perfect even the most boring beginner moves.
If you have a chance to take workshops with Mira, I totally recommend it. In fact, not just recommend it, I say DO IT NO MATTER WHAT! If you have to sell plasma and live off of ramen for a month just to afford the workshop, it will totally be worth it. I've never had an instructor inspire me so much, or make me work so hard! And on top of that, she's just plain funny, so even when we were working really hard, she kept the mood light and I never felt stressed, even when I was struggling to layer a rib circle over a vine step (yes, for some reason I am vine step impaired). It helps that she encourages failure as a way of learning, so I felt like even if I messed up, I was trying, and I was learning, and I got pretty much every exercise right at least once, through sheer persistence.
Although my muscles hurt, I am so energized from this amazing weekend. I feel like I could gush on and on in this blog post, or I could clean my entire house, or make a necklace, or go dance for half an hour, or work on one of my novels, or tackle any of a number of other projects. This is so what I needed, and I hope I can find a way to make this feeling last.
(Oh yeah, I'll post about my Day 100 reward tomorrow!)